I’m just back from a lovely visit to North Carolina and now I’m off to teach in Bellingham, Washington. I am excited; Bellingham is the most darling little town and the surrounding area is spectacular! I am also going to finally have a chance to go to the La Connor Quilt Museum – something I’ve always wanted to do!
If you’re up north near Canada, Vancouver, or Seattle, Bellingham is a short and pretty drive away; and the weather is supposed to be nice for driving!
I want to invite you to attend the class or send your Up North friends to come to class on Saturday. I will be at wonderful Fourth Corner Quilts store and the class runs from 10:30 to 4:00. Contact the store to sign up at (360) 714-0070 – hope to see you there.
The chair class is definitely my most popular class, so if you couldn’t get into my class at The Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show this year, snap up the chance to come!
Thank you to my students for the visual inspirations – I am always enthralled and amazed to see their creativity in action!
I will show you more of Carol’s Santa Chairs soon! She made a series in the 12″ size. They’re amazing.
How fun is it to make quilts with a Halloween theme?
There are so many great Halloween fabrics out each year the problem becomes not whether to buy Halloween fabric but rather which ones to buy!
Here is another wonderful chair quilt made by our favorite Volkswagen Bug Quilt lady, Chris Leach – Halloweenie Chair!
Chris added ghoulish points to the arms and headrests of the chair and created a fabulous wall hanging!
The funny witches feet really made me laugh!
Chris used the small armchair pattern from Dream Chair Quilts as the basis of the quilt and added all the delightful fabrics, ric rac, and whimsy needed to make this a great quilt. Thank you Chris for sending me the photos – you ROCK!
The kids camp idea lives on, and I am happy to be teaching a Sew Fun Kids Class once a month in Danville.
Last week we made hand-sewn pincushions and three-color tote bags – sorry I forgot to take photos!
One of my darling students shared a quilt that she had just finished, and just look at it!
Summit had attended my Dream Chair Quilts class in March, and at eight years old, she was the youngest student in the class by three decades! She worked fast and decidedly and really needed very little help. She just cut and glued and sewed and was as determined as can be!
She had chosen all of the pink French fabric and the chair went together quickly. She and I worked together to choose the green border and the lime shadow. She had the whole quilt top finished by the end of the day.
With help and guidance from her grandmother, Summit added some really fun embellishments to the quilt, including sequined trim around the border and the chair.
I didn’t make my first quilt until I was ten years old, so Summit really has made an early start on her quilting career. With her style, focus, and talent we are going to see great things from this wonderful girl.
I am just in love with this wonderful small quilt made by Alethea Gard’ner. It is called, Te Amo Chair. It was made in the Dream Chair Quilts class I taught at Dragonfly Quilts in Watkinsville, Georgia, this Spring.
No, I haven’t changed my name, Alethea G is my sister-in-law; she’s married to my younger brother. It’s a very long story, but I am happy to not be the only Alethea in the family. We fondly refer to ourselves as Sister and Other.
Clearly, Other is a wonderful quilter!
We took the pattern from the pattern pack to the copy shop and enlarged it a little to fit on a 16″ x 20″ canvas frame we bought. Alethea used raw-edge applique using an UHU glue stick to hold the pieces in place until the quilting.
The colors are absolutely electrifying and the imagery is wonderful.
Using different fabric for each side and a variety of shapes and colors, Alethea effectively created an exciting work of art.
I am always happy to have someone to play quilting with, and I am lucky to have Alethea in my family!
OK, so it’s not a chair, but the is quilt was made using the same style as the chairs, so that counts!
My teacher’s pet, Chris Leach, (now Karla, calm down) has sent me photos of her cool Volkswagen Bug Quilt, and I just had to share it with my dear readers!
Chris used steam a seam and fused the raw edge applique, just like we do with the chairs! Then she took the time to made the black stitching, which really serves to define the shapes. I know it was a pain to do, Chris, but it was totally worth it!
I absolutely love the background map fabric and the peace sign border.
But, I think my two favorite parts are the flowered fabric on the hood and the polka dot interior! Oh, and the black dot bumper and the way the wheels are turned.
Chris has also made some very cool chairs. Love them!
Margaret Linderman is a fabulous fiber artist. She specializes in collage-style, quilted, clothing and quilts, made with spectacular ethnic fabrics. Her Frida Chair is one of the most wonderful chair quilts I have seen.
Margaret is a devotee of Frida Kahlo and she has a whole room in her home that is inspired by the late Mexican artist. I have delighted in seeing the quilts, curtains, Day of the Dead altera fiber art pieces, and now the chair, that go into this wonderful room.
Margaret is a master of the raw edge appliqué and her cut out flowers and collage style is one of my most important influences. I know that the Love and Thorns Loveseat, Chica Chair and Barb Wire Betsy would have never been created if it weren’t for Margaret’s inspired work.
One of the amazing things to note is that Margaret and her talented daughter, Janis Stob, teach at Wooden Gate Quilts several days a week and anyone can go to the drop-in classes that they teach and be in a wonderful, creative environment. I cannot emphasize how much inspiration a positive teaching situation can be for quilters of every level!
I was lucky to have Margaret attend my first ever Dream Chair Quilt class when she started this piece. She had this amazing cloudy sky fabric, which called out to be a background for a chair! A large-scale flower chair back and two different border sides added to the magic and mystery of this quilt.
The Frida Chair has a large appliqué of Frida surrounded by flowers. She floats in the sunset, serene and fierce!
A little bird perches on the headrest, keeping an eye on the amazing lady.
Seated on the chair is a little swaddled baby, and Margaret calls him Baby Diego after Frida’s husband Diego Rivera. The fabrics on the front of the cushion and in the thick, textural piping are woven fabrics from Guatemala. The central flower on the back of the chair’s seat is embellished with tiny yellow beads and a large jewel in the center that is representative of Diego’s all-seeing third eye from a Frida Kahlo painting.
Each little touch, including the smiling skull feet, fills me with such delight.
Margaret’s has been working very hard and her amazing wearable art will be featured in the Benicia Carquinez Straits Quilt Guild show on April 30 and May 1, 2011. It is a not-to-be-missed opportunity!
Read about it here and see the schedule of Margaret’s demonstrations!
Bay Area graphic designer and quilter, Linda Axford created this wonderful new chair.
Linda came to my Dream Chair Saturdays class, which is held once a month at Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville. She had the quilt with her and we were able to share it with everyone in the class!
It is always so exciting for me to see the work that people are doing with inspiration from “Dream Chair Quilts.”
Linda used the beagle pattern she found in Carol Armstrong’s book of cool dog applique patterns called “Best in Show.” It was just the perfect size for the chair and Linda just put it right on the seat!
The chair is embellished with two sizes of ric rac and has lovely quilting! Linda is a dab hand at using the Roxanne’s Glue Baste it. She places little dots of glue from the tiny applicator tip and uses it to tack the ric rac into place until she can sew over it! It’s a great way to hold the embellishments in place without using pins!
Of course, I love when anyone uses glue on their quilts – so Maverick!
Yellow Chair was the third or fourth chair that I made. It has a secret! It’s backward.
If you compare it to the other chairs, you’ll see that the right arm is the larger one. When you make the chairs according to the pattern, left is the larger one. Unless…
I had been using glue stick on the back of the pattern pieces, which is really quick and easy, but it leaves the edges to their own naughty devices. Sometimes the edges fray a little and get a little hairy. At this point you can either leave them or give them a hair cut.
For this chair I had found an amazing fabric for the background, and I loved how it looked with the large flower motif in the fabric.
I decided to be super clever and use fusible web for this chair. I traced the pattern pieces on to the back of the fusible and went on my merry way. And the whole chair came out backwards, as the fusible process is usually done in reverse.
For a long time I really didn’t like this chair, just because it looked wonky to me. Also, there is a little bit of blue on the left arm that makes it look like it is part of the background and that bothered me, too.
A shadow behind this chair would have helped set the chair apart from the background. In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t put one in, as it would have diminished the painterly feel of the quilt.
Several people had told me that this was their favorite, and I would dismiss them. “Oh, I don’t like it,” I would say. It’s my failure.
This week when I was looking for a chair for the Dream Chair Corral, I was struck when I saw the photos of the Yellow Chair. I really liked it!
When I look at this quilt now, I love the colors and the amazing stitching. I love the borders and the cool binding. The apricot-colored flowers are a lovely contrast to the cool colors in the chair and the background, and that color is picked up again in the versatile Kaffe Fasset-designed stripe. I am delighted to see different cuts of the blue and yellow flower fabric, featured in the chair’s back, throughout the borders.
Sometimes, when I finish a quilt, I have been looking at it for so long that I’ve reached a visual saturation point. A break from the quilt is sometimes needed in order to appreciate what one has created.
Ultimately, I think I forgive this chair for being wonky. And I find I really like it!
I think that we, as artists, can be very hard on ourselves and we need to stay kind, supportive, and forgiving.
This was one of those quilts which came together in a flash. I pulled out my stack of cowboy (and cowgirl) fabrics, and this rodeo girl jumped up and practically shot me in the foot with her revolver.
There were a few images in the fabric that I wanted to alter, like a horses rear end on the arm of the chair and a head at the bottom of the seat back. It was easy to fussy cut images from the fabric out and glue them in place over the top of the parts I wanted to hide. If you click on the pictures, you can see them close up and read my notes.
I am really excited by creating borders that are “carved” out of the fabric. This cactus fabric just begged to be used in a carved border. See?
Once the chair was made and the borders were coming along, I spied the flower fabric in my pile, and the rest is (Wild West) history! I love how the cowboys peek out from behind the flowers! So playful and fun!
I quilted barbed wire in the borders. Yummy!
I think this is my second-favorite chair ever!
P.S. Yes, for those of you paying attention, my boyfriend Alex made most of this fabric – I love him!
Sandy Jorgensen is an artist and quilter, from Fremont, California. Here is her wonderful new chair quilt, Morning Fairies at Grandma’s House.
Sandy’s exuberant work is really exciting to me and her enthusiasm for the chair quilts gives me inspiration and much joy. I have been lucky enough to do the machine quilting for her chair projects. When she gets them back she adds beads and other embellishments.
Don’t you love the birds and fairies on this whimsical quilt?